This is a summary of subjects discussed and conclusions
reached by the members of the English National Forum.
The English National Forum (ENF) met on Tuesday, 6 July 2004 in
Tunbridge Wells. Steven Evans (Chair, East RAC) was represented
by Peter Lerner (East RAC member and Chair BBC Three Counties Radio
Local Advisory Council)
BBC managers present throughout were: Andy Griffee (Controller English
Regions), Louise Hall (Secretary English Regions) and Fiona Lynch
(Public Accountability Manager, English Regions).
Public Accountability Managers Bob Lloyd Smith and John Sparrow
observed the meeting from 11.00am.
2. Routine Business
ENF members reported that the first Chairs' Induction Day held in
Birmingham in April had been most successful and should be continued
in future years.
Louise Hall updated members on a diversity interest group initiative,
a report on local radio phone-ins involving Advisory Council Chairs,
and personnel changes to the Public Accountability team.
Ranjit Sondhi outlined the business conducted at the Board
of Governors' meetings held in March, April, May and June. He
also expressed pleasure at the success of the Forum in influencing
BBC policy as demonstrated in the annual ENF audit.
3. Main Agenda Items
BBC Building Public Value: Members' Comments
ENF members debated key aspects of the document including the new
governance arrangements. They decided it should be discussed at
their autumn RAC meetings and asked Louise Hall to draft questions
to help them lead their debates.
RAC Programme Reviews
ENF members summarised their members' reviews of regional television
news programmes, network news, Where I Live sites and the BBC's
D Day coverage.
Controller English Regions Reports and Objectives
Andy Griffee presented his management report and 2004/5 objectives
to the Forum. He also discussed the challenges and opportunities
presented to the English Regions by Building Public Value. Forum
members congratulated him on the sound basis from which the new
services would develop for audiences across the English regions.
Feedback from the ENF Presentation to the Board of Governors
RAC Chairs John Smith, Tessa Gordziejko and Margaret Maden reported
back on their annual presentation. They felt the Governors had shown
a genuine interest in the issues presented and valued the work of
the advisory councils.
Feedback from Joint Boards Conference
Ranjit Sondhi explained that senior BBC management presented its
review of the year to the Board of Governors at this meeting, informing
the Governors' own review of performance and objectives which would
appear in the BBC's Annual Report.
12th BBC Region: proposed Accountability Arrangements
Louise Hall presented draft recommendations for the new Yorkshire
& Lincolnshire region's accountability structure. As questions
around membership and impact remained, it was agreed to discuss
it further outside the main ENF meeting.
External Assessment 2004
Each year the English Regions, along with every other BBC division,
undertakes a detailed assessment of an aspect of core output. This
includes commissioning independent experts in the field to assess
the programme or service, independent research and public consultation.
The members agreed the topic for this year would be media literacy,
including projects such as Video Nation, and the digital storytelling
projects Telling Lives and Inside Lives.